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Updated: 2 hours 30 min ago

'Republic Of Lies' Explores The Fixation With Conspiracy Theories

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 9:01am

Author Anna Merlan's recitations are chilling, as are her warnings that fringe beliefs tend to go mainstream — and how their rise is seen against a resurgence in nationalism and white supremacy.

(Image credit: Metropolitan Books)

Iconic Helvetica Font Gets First Redesign In Decades

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 6:10am

Charles Nix, Mitch Goldstein, and Sarah Hyndman talk to NPR's Scott Simon about a recent face-lift to the typeface Helvetica, which recently got its first redesign in 35 years.

100 Dances For 100 Years Of Merce Cunningham

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 6:10am

To celebrate the centennial of the modern-dance pioneer's birth, dancers at theaters in London, New York and Los Angeles performed a total of 100 solos that the master choreographed.

(Image credit: Stephanie Berger/Courtesy of Brooklyn Academy of Music)

Emotionally Complex 'Arid Dreams' Operates On Multiple Levels

Sat, 04/20/2019 - 6:00am

Duanwad Pimwana is one of Thailand's preeminent female writers, and this newly translated story collection — while not uniformly flawless — lets readers watch her grow into a true master of the form.

(Image credit: The Feminist Press at CUNY)

'Fast Color' Celebrates A Supermom Who Literally Moves Heaven And Earth

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 3:23pm

Moms perform heroic tasks every day, but they rarely get portrayed as superheroes. Fast Color tells the story of three generations of black women and the supernatural powers they inherit.

(Image credit: Jacob Yakob/Lionsgate)

'Einstein's Unfinished Revolution' Looks At The Quantum-Physics-And-Reality Problem

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 2:01pm

A century after the birth of quantum mechanics, no one is sure what it is telling us about the nature of reality — and Lee Smolin's book adds to a stream of excellent works on the topic.

(Image credit: Bettmann Archive)

'Long Day's Journey Into Night' Astonishes With Technical Achievement

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 12:29pm

Chinese writer-director Bi Gan's new film centers on a former casino owner haunted by the memory of a woman from his past. It features a 59-minute sequence, shot in a single take and converted to 3-D.

Frederick Douglass' Remarkable Life, From Slavery To 'American Wonder'

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 12:29pm

David Blight's Pulitzer Prize-winning biography details Douglass' passionate leadership in the abolitionist movement and his gift as a writer and orator. Originally broadcast Dec. 17 2018.

In 'Someone Great,' The Greatest Someone Might Be Your Best Pal

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 11:01am

Gina Rodriguez stars in Someone Great, a Netflix comedy that follows three friends trying to have one last adventure before everything changes for good.

(Image credit: Sarah Shatz/Netflix)

Retta: Tweet Yo' Self

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 9:41am

Retta reflects on trading her career in chemistry for comedy, her "crazy" audition for Parks And Recreation, and what she loves about portraying a fully-realized character on Good Girls.

(Image credit: Mike Katzif/NPR)

'Ungovernable' Brings Up Grim Realities Of Victorian Child-Rearing

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 8:51am

Therese Oneill's new book presents plenty of suitably eyebrow-raising excerpts, but amid the snark at parenthood past and present, there are some unavoidable issues that come at a fraught time.

(Image credit: NPR)

'The Raven's Tale:' O, For A Muse Of Angst

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 6:00am

Teenaged, angst-ridden Edgar Allan Poe seems like a great protagonist for a supernatural young adult novel — but The Raven's Tale has some serious flaws that leave a void at the story's heart.

(Image credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

In 'Her Smell,' Elisabeth Moss 'Turned It Up To 11,' Then Turned It Up Some More

Fri, 04/19/2019 - 4:00am

In her new film, Moss plays a punk singer struggling with addiction. "The only mistake we could make was not going far enough," she says.

(Image credit: Donald Stahl/Brigade Marketing)

'Hail Satan?': Documentary Examines Protest Group That Bedevils Religious Conservatives

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:00pm

The film spotlights the Satanic Temple, an organization that stages wry publicity stunts to underscore the separation of church and state. The doc "makes for an electric modern theological debate."

(Image credit: Magnolia Pictures )

'Little Woods' Is Grimly Lovely — Dark And Deep

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:00pm

Two sisters (Lily James, Tessa Thompson) struggle to navigate the opioid crisis in their small town. Nia DaCosta's first film is a "quietly feminist thriller" that's "modest but intensely empathetic."

(Image credit: Neon)

In Pulpy L.A. Noir 'Under The Silver Lake,' A Man Chases Signs And Portents

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 4:00pm

There's a lot of flash and less substance in writer/director David Robert Mitchell's tale of a young man (Andrew Garfield) who sees hidden clues everywhere. But that flash is lovingly executed.

(Image credit: A24)

'Tragedy, The Greeks, And Us' Examines How Classical Philosophers Saw Early Dramas

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 3:31pm

The Stone's Simon Critchley premises tragedy on action — as opposed to the generally more passive approach philosophy has a reputation for — and examines how Plato and others saw it as a threat.

(Image credit: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

How Angélique Kidjo Brings Out The Africa Of Celia Cruz's Catalog

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 2:50pm

The West African vocalist talks about bringing out the Afrobeat in Celia Cruz's rich Cuban catalog with the tribute album Celia.

(Image credit: Laurent Seroussi/Courtesy of the Artist)

'Lost And Wanted' Grapples With Grief, Regret And The Existence Of God

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 12:57pm

Nell Freudenberger's gorgeous new novel tells the story of a middle-aged woman who receives messages sent from her college friend's cell phone — even after her friend has died.

From Fastballs To Greaseballs, 'K' Offers A History Of Baseball's Most Iconic Pitches

Thu, 04/18/2019 - 12:27pm

NY Times baseball writer Tyler Kepner spoke to 22 hall-of-fame pitchers about what they throw, and how they get a mental edge over hitters. His new book is K: A History of Baseball in Ten Pitches.

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